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The prokinetic agent tegaserod (a selective serotonin type 4 receptor agonist) augments motility throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The effects on gastric emptying, small bowel transit, and colonic transit, however, have not been studied in detail. Recently, Lukas Degen, PD Dr med, and colleagues reported in Neurogastroenterology and Motility (August 2005) on the effect of tegaserod on GI tract transit in healthy patients (23 men, 17 women) treated for 3.5 days with tegaserod 6 mg bid or placebo. Transit parameters were assessed by scintigraphy.
Tegaserod significantly accelerated GI tract transit in both genders (P < .05 to P < .0001). Gastric emptying was significantly faster in men than in women (lag phase, P = .004; postlag gastric emptying rate, P < .0001). Transit through the small intestine was increased by 30% (P < .002) in men and by 37% (P < .0001) in women after tegaserod treatment. Small bowel transit was significantly faster in men than in women with both treatments (P = .007). Colonic transit also was significantly faster in men than in women, irrespective of treatment (geometric center [GC] 24 hours, P = .002; GC 48 hours, P = .044). These results suggested that tegaserod is a potent prokinetic agent throughout the GI tract in both genders.